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OPINION: Lawmakers can help end slavery in our lifetime

Posted 7/1/20

My name is Madison Landstrom, and I have spent my 18 years growing up here in Sumter. I wanted to reach out to you to inform you of news not included in the media as often as it should be. Over the past two years, I have researched and become aware …

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OPINION: Lawmakers can help end slavery in our lifetime

Posted

My name is Madison Landstrom, and I have spent my 18 years growing up here in Sumter. I wanted to reach out to you to inform you of news not included in the media as often as it should be. Over the past two years, I have researched and become aware of the horrors of modern-day slavery in every city of the world.

Many people do not realize trafficking happens right in front of their eyes. We typically think these heinous situations only happen in Third World countries, not in our neighborhoods. This information will help inform and protect the citizens of Sumter while encouraging Congress to protect this important report.

Everyone deserves to be free, but over 40 million people are trapped in slavery today. On Thursday, June 25, the U.S. State Department released the 2020 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. The TIP Report sheds light on this hidden crime and ranks 187 countries, including the U.S., on their efforts to combat it.

As Gary Haugen, CEO of International Justice Mission, says, "Nothing happens just because we are aware of modern-day slavery, but nothing will ever happen until we are."

With the truth out there for all to see, we can no longer look away. Our members of Congress have the chance to rise above the partisan bickering of the day and recommit themselves to protecting the integrity of the TIP Report and the American-led programs that help rescue slaves and put their perpetrators behind bars.

We're counting on you, lawmakers, to use your voice and tip the scales towards justice. If we can summon sufficient political courage, we can end slavery in our lifetime.

MADISON LANDSTROM

Sumter